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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting CD-ROM Drives | Physical Problems ]

The CD-ROM drive is vibrating a great deal as it operates

Explanation: Your CD-ROM drive seems to vibrate a great deal when it is being used.

Diagnosis: This is just generally, in most cases, an indication of poor quality in the way the drive has been manufactured. In an older drive, it may indicate that the drive's spindle motor has become unbalanced. The problem is generally seen much more in the very high-speed drives than in the slower drives, for obvious reasons.


  • Ignore a small amount of vibration. This is usually normal. If you paid very little for a very fast drive, expect that quality is what was sacrificed. Something is always traded off when you get fast and cheap together; if quality is a concern, only get a good brand of drive (they aren't that much more than the cheapo ones anyway).
  • Make sure the drive was properly and securely mounted into the case. Make sure at least four screws were used and that they are tight. Use four more and see if that helps (most drives can take at least eight mounting screws).
  • If the drive is new and it is vibrating a great deal, return it for an exchange, possibly on a different model.
  • If the drive is old you can probably get the drive repaired. However here too, the question arises as to what the value of this is; if you have a 4X drive that is now vibrating, do you want to spend $50-70 getting it fixed, or buy a new 12X or 16X drive for around $100? Most people choose the latter.

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